First Posted: 4/11/2013
In a grotto tucked between an abandoned building at 79 N. Main St. and an empty storefront at 73 N. Main St., the Blessed Virgin Mary has stood serenely in an oasis of green in Pittston for almost three decades.
Now the grotto and statue, erected in 1988 by Josephine Sauter and her husband Jerry, are in need of repairs.
Inspired by a trip to Lourdes, France, Josephine and Jerry, who has since died, bought the narrow lot just for a grotto. The grotto and statue have been vandalized and damaged by water that, Sauter believes, seeped from the adjacent abandoned building.
About 10 years ago, Josephine raised some money for repair to the grotto and now she is asking for help once again.
The statue needs refurbishing and Sauter would also like to install new red pavers and benches. She is asking for donations of $100 for pavers engraved as per donors’ requests and $500 for benches marked with donors’ names.
Sauter said a man, who does not want to be named just yet, has volunteered to do the work for free, if she can raise the money.
Sauter already has 10 people who have agreed to donate just through word of mouth, but she needs more.
To donate by sponsoring a paver of bench or to donate a smaller amount, send a check payable to Josephine Sauter to P.O. Box 831, Pittston PA 18640.